Goaltender Zac Bierk had a four-year major junior career with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL and was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the ninth round, 212th overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
Bierk was an integral part of the Petes advancing to the 1996 Memorial Cup with Peterborough serving as the host city. The club advanced to the finals where they lost 4-0 to the QMJHL champion Granby Predateurs. Bierk returned to the Petes as an overage player in 1996-97 and was named to the OHL's First All-Star Team. Perhaps the most amazing aspect is that Bierk did not begin playing in goal until the age of 12. His large frame and quick reflexes quickly made him a natural.
In 1997-98 Bierk played in his first 13 NHL games with the Lightning, posting an official 1-4-1 record. Some would argue he was rushed into action too quickly with injuries to starter Daren Puppa and Corey Schwab and never gained the level of confidence needed to play in the NHL.
Early in the following season he was diagnosed with Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder which can cause symptoms similar to vertigo, including dizziness. He was back in the NHL with the Lightning for 12 games in 1999-00 and was left unprotected in the 2000 Expansion Draft, where he was taken by the Minnesota Wild but appeared in just one game spending the better part of the season with the IHL's Cleveland Lumberjacks.
Bierk found himself with the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL in 2001-02 before making his way back to the AHL with the Pheonix Coyotes AHL affiliate in Springfield in 2002-03 while getting the call from the parent club midway through the season.